Okay! Okay! I Get the Message!

I’m going to start this by saying that I don’t believe in God, I am not a religious person.

But I do believe in the universe.  I believe that sometimes the universe sends us messages and that we should listen to them.

My date with Aggressive Guy scared me.  It was the universe slapping me in the face and saying “Stop What You Are Doing!!!”.

A few days later I went on a date so filled with crazy I was left speechless.  It took a full blown panic attack on the side of road for me to realize that this wasn’t working.

The date filled with crazy was harmless.  It was the universe, irritated, flicking me between the eyes as it sighed.

I went home and deleted my dating app (Tinder) and my online profile (OkCupid).  I decided to be done.  Because I don’t want to be scared of my date.  Because I don’t want to meet crazy and have coffee with it.

I simply don’t care that much.

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I tend to view online dating in the same way I usually attack a job or task.  Logic says “I want to meet someone, get married, have babies” and, like any other thing I have wanted in my life, I take the logical steps towards achieving it.  Which was online dating.

My heart though?  My heart so isn’t interested in forcing it.  My heart isn’t interested in a million messages and likes and dates and swiping right.  My heart is tired and will tell me when and if it’s ready to try again.

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I’m not closing myself off to anything.  I’m still seeing people and I will continue to see people.  But.  I’m not putting any pressure on myself.  I’m going to lean into my current ambivalence towards love and men instead of trying to force something.  Instead of attacking dating like a job I am going to sit back.  See what the universe is up to.

And if I get to feel safe on all future dates?  That’d be pretty good too.

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He Came At Me Like a Freight Train…

I went on a date the other night with a guy I met on OkCupid.  He was sweet and had planned a real date (walk on the beach followed by dinner and drinks at a lovely Japanese restaurant).  I’d joked as we texted that I might be horribly burned for our date because I was spending the previous day at the beach and he showed up with a bottle of aloe lotion as a gift.  It was kind, cute and generous.

We had a great conversation as we wandered the beach.  Similar educational backgrounds we had plenty to talk about.  We chatted, laughed.  I was really enjoying myself.

As we switched from the beach to the restaurant he grabbed both my hands and gave me two small kisses on the lips.  I was a little bit perplexed by this.  It was a first date, a first meeting and we weren’t even at the end of it and he was already kissing me?  Without asking first or gauging my reaction to a slow lean in or any of that?

Benefit of the doubt I went to dinner.

Again, it was fun and easy and I was enjoying myself.

Cut to end of the meal, standing at his car, at the end of the night.

He was really aggressive.  He came at me like a freight train and obviously thought that there would be a pretty serious physical encounter between us.

Nothing terrible happened, nothing bad.  But I was uncomfortable.  Really uncomfortable.  And I had a brief moment as I stood there with him where I saw how quickly and badly things could escalate if he was a bad dude.  He wasn’t.  He was just horny and aggressive. I fled the scene.

I texted him the next morning to say that I had been uncomfortable and that I thought we were looking for different things.  He agreed that we wanted different things, apologized for being too forward and wished me luck.  That was the end of that.

I’m not trying to paint him as a bad guy but I’m also not trying to give him a free pass.  I was kissing him back and participating and probably should have fled a few minutes before I did because I had a pit of discomfort in my stomach.  I didn’t feel okay about how he was being towards me.

I didn’t because I liked him and I thought I could redirect him.  I couldn’t.

To be honest I went home feeling a little scared.  Not because I could have seen him taking it any farther.  But because I could see how easy it would be for someone to take it farther.  How even with all safety precautions in place (crowded area, bringing my own car, staying sober, etc) he could have done something that I really didn’t want.  Again, this wasn’t a guy who would.  But.  He could have been.

I left without saying anything because I didn’t want to escalate the situation.  I’m glad that I did and I would do it again.  It was the safest bet.

But I wish I could have sat him down and explained the concept of consent.

Each of these dates is a lesson learned.  Me learning a little bit more how to speak up for myself, keep myself safe, what I will and won’t put up with.  I wasn’t forward enough.  I own that.  I was uncomfortable and I didn’t say anything.  That part is on me.  He came on way too strong and didn’t ask for any sort of permission.  That part is on him.

I lay in bed last night though and felt depressed.  I’m  trying to be an eternal optimist about love.  (Regardless of how my post from a few weeks ago made it seem).  I keep online dating, I keep going on first dates, I keep meeting people and trying.  I encourage friends who have given up to keep going because they are great and they will meet someone.  So am I and so will I.

I can see though how a date like this could make you stop trying.  I went home and felt shaken and scared and icky.  I haven’t shaken this feeling yet, if I’m honest.

Dating is hard because you are putting yourself out there.  You don’t know what you are getting and you take a risk each and every time.

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I’ll keep going and one bad end to a date won’t stop me.  I’ll listen to my gut a little bit more and I’ll speak up and I’ll learn and I’ll meet someone (or I won’t).  I’m not going to stop trying.

On the other hand…

I wrote a big long rant about dating, love and men the other day.  And I stand by everything that I said.

I forgot to mention something though.  Dating, love and men?  They are totally awesome.

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Here are some reasons…

  • Getting dressed up.  There is nothing like getting dressed up for a date and knowing that you look good.  Feeling confident and comfortable in your skin.
  • Buying a first date outfit.  Because every self-respecting single gal will have a killer first date outfit.
  • Butterflies!  Remember butterflies?  I know that they are simply hormones and lust gone amock.  But they are gone so quickly.  There is nothing like the feeling of that first few months in a relationship when you are constantly fluttery.
  • First Kisses.  (See above).
  • Phone calls until the wee hours.  Before you get practical and decide that sleep is necessary.  When excitement is sustaining you.
  • Late nights… Um.  You know.
  • The first time you exchange those three little words and you feel like your heart is going to burst from fear.  And happiness.

Dating, love and men are more wonderful than horrible.  There are feelings in those early days that cannot be replicated later in a relationship.  It is  moment to savour and to enjoy.  To soak up.

There are a million little milestones and one gets to enjoy them all.  And maybe we all hope that this is the last time.  But that heady feeling of falling in love?  It’s something to look forward to.

 

“Your lips would look great wra…”

Warning: the following is a rather ineloquent rant on men, dating and love in general.

I am so sick of men.  And dating.  And love.

Online dating is a constant battle of bizarre encounters, disgusting propositions and poor grammar.  Honestly, if I get one more “Your gorgeous” I’m going to stab my own eye out.

(Speaking of eyes, yes, mine are blue.  I was born with them.  I get that you’d absolutely looooove to wake up with those eyes next to you.  If you like them that much I will provide you with the one that I stabbed out.  You can keep it.  It might start to smell after awhile.)

And, men, if you could figure out what the fuck it is that you want, that’d also be great.  It isn’t that hard.  Just fucking make a decision.  Early in the game, please.  If you just want to fuck me, fine.  Tell me.  I’ll be into it (or not!) and we can all move the fuck on.  There is nothing wrong with not wanting a serious relationship or marriage or babies.  Just fucking know what the fuck you want.  And be fucking up front about it.

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(Sorry for all the swearing Mom.  See warning above.)

And, love.  Yes love.  It is such bullshit.  Such.  Bullshit.  You see: you will fall in love.  And it will shatter you.  And then you’ll be left picking up the pieces while… (Okay.  I’m not going to finish that sentence because I was going somewhere really unkind.)

Seriously though.  Love is bullshit.  It’s a bunch of chemicals released by your brain because of orgasms, or the imminent possibility of orgasms.  It’s not real people.

(Except Love is real and it soaks through you and leaves you completely bereft.)

Dating is a constant cycle of rejection and second guessing oneself.  You need nerves of steel because that new message could be sweet… But it could just as easily be “Your lips are great… They’d look great wrapped around my…”.

(By the way: he did finish that sentence and he is the reason for this rant.)

Basically…

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So what I am saying is simple:  Dating is awful.  Men are horrible.  Love is a fucked up sham.  

And I’m going to keep trying.

Because I look around me and I constantly see these couples who finish each other’s sentences and hold hands in the grocery store and have each other’s back.  And I deserve that.  I deserve someone who is going to fight for me, who is going to stick around when things get tough, who is going to have my back as much as I have his.

And I know that he’s out there and he probably just left a horrible date with a woman who ordered champagne and lobster and talked about her Pilates routine for 3 hours without pause and he’s flicking on Netflix wishing that women weren’t so awful.

I’ve been married.  I know how hard it is.  And I’m not trying to minimize that.  But here’s what I’d like  you to do, right now.  Step over the shoes, or socks, or underwear that your partner hasn’t put away properly (yet again).  Walk across the room, the house, the yard until you are standing in front of them. Tell that that you love them.  That you appreciate that they have your back, remind them that you have theirs.  Give them a kiss.

I’m happier single than I ever was married.  But I want to try again.  I want to get the chance to sit on a porch swing watching grand kids run around the front yard holding the same hand I’ve held for 40 years.  And that’s cliche and that’s not guaranteed.  But I want the chance.

So, no.  My lips WOULDN’T look great wrapped around your…  In fact I hope it rots off.

And to my Netflix boy.  I hope that it doesn’t take too long to connect.